Monthly Archives: January 2020

The Difference Between Assisted Living and Memory Care

Assisted Living and Memory Care

Assisted living and memory care are both types of senior care services. While people assume these terms mean the same thing, there are some important differences between them. Here is some insight from our assisted living community in Gloucester County.

What is Assisted Living? 

As we get older, we will all slowly start to require some extra help to manage our daily lives. These are known as assisted living services. Assisted living communities are designed to provide all of these under one roof. The following are included in these services:

  • Rooms or apartment homes are wheelchair and walker-friendly and have safety measures in place to help prevent falls;
  • Manageable-sized housing, which is maintained by building services;
  • Transport to shops, events, and scheduled appointments;
  • Trained staff to assist with activities of daily living (ADLs), like eating, bathing, dressing, medication management, and mobility; and
  • Additional services that support senior health, like a calendar of social events, clubs, senior classes, outings, fitness centers, communal dining, libraries, computer centers, and wellness therapies.

There are different levels of care within assisted living that scale according to a resident’s needs. For example, independent seniors may only need housekeeping, transportation, and companionship, while older less robust seniors may need help with physical therapy, pain management, or grooming.

What is Memory Care? 

This senior care service is available at many assisted living communities. It is specifically tailored to the everyday needs of residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia conditions. These residents need specific care only available from trained and experienced staff who understand the needs of residents with cognitive decline. This assistance is designed to ensure comfort, dignity, and the highest possible quality of life. These services can include the following:

  • Cognitive therapies and wellness programs;
  • Assistance with ADLs;
  • Management of doctor’s appointments, medication, and transport;
  • Social events suitable for dementia patients;
  • Additional safety measures and trained associates to ensure residents don’t become disoriented or wander off;
  • Life Enrichment Team Specialist (LETS) experts lend companionship, hands-on assistance, strategic intervention, and more; and
  • Highly trained LETS associates understand not only the challenges of working with dementia patients, but also their needs.

Your loved one’s cognitive health primarily determines the choice between memory care and assisted living. If he or she has not been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, then assisted living should be a good fit. If your loved one has a diagnosis, however, you can rest assured that memory care will ensure all their needs are expertly met.

Compassionate Memory Care and Independent Assisted Living at Pitman, NJ 

Pitman is an assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ, offering high-quality scalable assisted living services in a comfortable, well-supported, and beautiful environment. As part of the United Methodist Communities network, we also offer rehabilitation, access to therapists, hospice care, respite, and Tapestries® Memory Care, and support services. We welcome seniors from all faith backgrounds.

To find out more about our assisted living community, please visit our website at contact us today or book a personal tour.

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Great Brain Games Can Keep Senior Minds Sharp!

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Memory loss, whether it’s simple forgetfulness or a serious health condition like dementia or Alzheimer’s, is a common challenge for the majority of seniors. A lot of research is going into how we can prevent or slow this type of memory loss, and researchers are increasingly promoting brain games to achieve this. Here’s some insight from the team at our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey.

What Are Brain Games? 

Just like physical games and activities strengthen our muscles, so brain games challenge our mental abilities. They’re important to every stage of development, from babies all the way up to seniors, helping to keep neurons in the brain active and stimulated.

The good news is that there are a lot of different types of brain games. So, it’s more about finding ones you or your senior loved one enjoys rather than making it a boring exercise. It also means that they’re great for socializing and spending time with family and friends, so start planning your next intergenerational games night!

4 Good Examples of Brain Games 

Crafting – Arts and crafts are a huge industry, which means that there is so much out there accessible to seniors. This includes everything from flower arranging and scrapbooking to knitting, crocheting, and painting. These creative exercises are plenty of fun for everyone, and they’re great for your brain, especially if it means you’re learning a new skill. There are also charity craft events with opportunities to join in on a great cause and help others.

Online Gaming – Online gaming isn’t just for teens! There’s something for every age group and interest, even if you’re not particularly comfortable with technology. From puzzle games and word games to adventure challenges and more, these games are absorbing, social, and stimulating – and your mom or dad can always call your kids for a little help to get recommendations or setting them up.

Audio Books – Reading can become a challenge when we get older, whether it’s our eyesight or just having to focus for long periods of time. These days, almost every book released also comes with an audio edition that can be downloaded onto a smartphone, tablet, or computer. These systems are not only incredibly easy to use, but also rewarding as talented actors read aloud and bring the stories to life!

Chess and Strategy Games – Strategy games force us to use our reasoning, logic, and cognitive skills in a competitive environment which can be as challenging as it is fun. Classics like Chess, Mahjong, Bridge, and Scrabble are classics that are incredibly popular all around the world. So, it’s not only easy to learn and progress, but it’s also easy to find plenty of fellow enthusiasts locally and online.

It’s All About Independent Living at Our CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey 

Bristol Glen is a CCRC and assisted living community, which is based in Sussex County, and aims to provide seniors with comfortable, serviced living options that free up your time to enjoy life. Founded on a philosophy of ‘aging in place’, our continuing care retirement community residents enjoy a less restrictive care model where they do not have to move from their residential apartment to access additional services as their needs change.

Contact us to find out more about our CCRC and our assisted living in Sussex County, New Jersey, please visit our website at and book your visit today.

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5 Examples of When Respite Care is a Must-Have for Seniors

Family caregiving is a common role in the USA, with the AARP reporting that around 34.2 million adults around the country provide unpaid care to a loved one over 50. While many family caregivers find a lot of meaning and joy in doing so, there are some occasions when it makes sense to handover caregiving to professional home health aide services temporarily. Here are some examples, from our in-home respite care services team in NJ:

Recovery After Illness or Hospitalization – After an illness, operation or hospitalization, a senior will require a more expert level of care than what a family caregiver may feel equipped to offer. In these cases, home health aide services can offer a skilled nurse for this care, helping your loved one to heal faster, preventing complications, and giving peace of mind.

Medical Conditions – A diagnosis of one or more serious and long-term health conditions can mean a lot for a caregiver to cope with – emotionally and in terms of the advanced care demands. Respite caregivers often specialize in specific care for clients with serious medical conditions (including Alzheimer’s and dementia), and can lend essential assistance to family caregivers as they adjust to new care requirements.

Travel – Family caregivers need space to rest and recharge. If you’re planning a vacation with family or friends, a respite caregiver can step in and support your loved one while you’re away. These trained professionals can handle it all, from nursing and assistance with daily activities to appointments and companionship, so you’ll know your loved one is in the best possible hands.

Scheduling Conflicts – Being a family caregiver is not your only role – you have a life, career, and family of your own to care for too. Respite caregivers can step in whether you have a scheduling conflict, an important meeting with a client, a child’s sports game, or anything else. These services can be scheduled as and when you need them, whether it’s a set few hours each week or to cover last-minute conflicts.

Rest, Recharge and Refresh – No matter how much you love someone, caregiving is a lot of work – especially when you have other roles to fulfill in your life! Respite caregivers are there to give you that all-important break so that you can come back feeling refreshed and re-energized. You can book these services for a few hours while you do anything you want, such as catching a movie, enjoying a date night, or getting a massage.

Talk to Our Team About Professional In-Home Respite Care in NJ

Whether you need residential in-home respite care in NJ or someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one on a more permanent basis, we are here to help through our HomeWorks program. Our staff is fully certified in New Jersey and have extensive senior care training and experience. So, please feel free to ask for formal certification and references as well as information on home care costs.

For more information on our home health aide services in NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at:


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5 Tips for Making the Move to Assisted Living Easier for Couples

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At first, it might sound easier, but it can actually be far more challenging to find an assisted living facility for both your parents than for just one of them! With life spans increasing for both men and women, and more couples than ever before over the age of 60, families are increasingly having to deal with the challenge of finding a community that works to meet the needs and expectations of both spouses. Here are five tips from the team at our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ:

1. Do Plenty of Research Before Bringing Up the Subject – It’s no good bringing up the idea of moving into assisted living when you’re unprepared and could potentially have two people raising objections about it! It’s much better to know your subject matter inside out so that you can talk about it properly. This means researching facilities in your area, visiting them, and chatting with the staff. You’ll have a much better idea of what would suit your parents and what assisted living is really like.

2. Do Some Financial Planning – Two people going into assisted living is more costly than one, but it’s achievable if you find the right community and develop your budget. Although the living space couples need might be bigger, it’s a good idea to find communities that offer scalable services and have an ‘aging in place’ philosophy. This means that couples can decide what services they need and only pay for those, which makes assisted living costs more affordable. It also means that they won’t be split up when individual care needs change, which is a common concern. Instead, they’ll have a permanent home together.

3. Talk, Don’t Instruct – Your parents have been making decisions for themselves – and for you – their whole lives. So, it’s important to leave as much control as possible in their hands. Bring up the idea of assisted living casually and listen to any fears they may bring up as well as talking about your own concerns. Take some pamphlets and give them time to look over them. Offer to take them on a tour of the communities you think may suit them. If they have a concern, try to address it based on your research and not simply dismiss it.

4. Create a New Space – Once your parents make the decision to move into senior housing at an assisted living community, offer your assistance in turning their new apartment into a home. Make it an enjoyable project in which you help combine the old and the new — from painting and buying new furniture to making sure that sentimental items have their proper place.

5. Get Involved – As you can already see, there’s a lot of work involved for families as well as your parents! Even under the ideal circumstances, moving can be stressful and emotional, so make sure there’s a plan in place in which everyone can get involved. This includes everything from the administration of downsizing and moving (hosting yard sales, measuring furniture to see if it will fit, selling property, and so on) to ensure that your parents feel settled, visiting and phoning regularly, getting to know the community, sharing meals, and making plans together.

Find an Assisted Living Community in NJ with Something for Everyone! 

Collingswood is part of the United Methodist Communities network of high-quality non-profit assisted living communities specializing in independent living for seniors. With an experienced care and assistance team, scalable services customized to each resident’s needs, and a lively social calendar, we focus our community to provide essential resources that promote independence and quality of life.

To find out more about our assisted living community in Camden County, NJ, please visit our website at or contact us today and organize your visit.

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Guardianship and Your Loved One in Hospice

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It’s important that a person’s wishes regarding their medical care and financial decisions are respected at all times. However, this can become a problem when they are no longer able to competently advocate for themselves. In these cases, a guardianship may be necessary. Here’s what this means, from the team at our hospice in South Jersey.

What is Guardianship? 

If your loved one in hospice is at an advanced stage of decline and can no longer be declared legally competent to make healthcare and financial decisions for themselves, they need a legal guardian to protect their interests. This is known as guardianship. Duties that a guardian would perform include:

  • Signing consent on medical treatments or therapies
  • Making end-of-life care decisions
  • Paying bills from the patient’s accounts
  • Budgeting for care needs and other expenses
  • Giving consent to access medical, personal or financial information
  • Managing the financial aspects of their estate

How Can I Set Up Guardianship for My Loved One? 

It is important to establish exactly what legal estate planning documentation your loved one already has. If they have already set up a designated Power of Attorney for medical and financial needs, then those named individuals will be able to take on these responsibilities and there’s no need to go through the guardianship process. It is also important to check if they have a Living Will (also known as an Advance Directive), as this will give guidance on their wishes regarding end-of-life care.

If no such legal documents exist, you will have to follow your state’s process of setting up a guardianship. This usually includes:

Filing a petition for guardianship or conservatorship – This petition will outline why guardianship is needed. Note that the state will contact the individual as well as relatives in the event that this petition is filed.

Investigating the need for guardianship – An investigator will then be sent by the court to confirm that there is a case for guardianship. They can also determine if a less restrictive alternative is more appropriate.

Attending the court hearing – A judge will evaluate your petition as well as listen to any statements made by concerned parties, including members of your loved one’s medical team. The judge will then make a decision on whether or not guardianship should be granted.

This process can take several months unless there is an especially urgent need. For these reasons, it is especially important for individuals in hospice to take the time to get their legal affairs in order before the need for guardianship arises.

Compassionate Care for Seniors and Their Families at Our Hospice in South Jersey 

At The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer compassionate, professional hospice care in the Jersey Shore area called Bridges. In this program, we focus on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for patients and their loved ones through customized care programs and compassionate support.

To find out more about our hospice in Cape May County, please visit our website at or contact us today and organize your visit.

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How to Build a Strong Relationship with Your Caregiver

A good relationship with your caregiver is key to making the most out of senior home care services. Yet, many seniors feel understandably anxious about letting someone – however professional and expertly-trained – into the intimacy of their home and life. Here are some tips for creating a good relationship with your caregiver, from our in-home senior care team in NJ.

5 Tips for a Great Caregiver Relationship:

Make the Right Choice – In the initial stages of talking to your senior independent home care services provider, chat with them about the kind of caregiver you’d like. After all, it’s all about finding a good fit. Talk about your loved one’s likes and dislikes, their hobbies, and history. This will help them ensure that the caregiver you work with can connect with your loved one.

Respect Each Other’s Privacy – While professional caregivers are trained thoroughly on respecting their client’s privacy, it’s important that this goes both ways. It is good to bond and, therefore, it is best to start off by sharing information that both people would be comfortable talking about. General stuff like where they are from, their job, why they chose this profession, and their hobbies.

Communicate Clearly – It’s essential that your caregiver, your loved one, and your family are all on the same page regarding work expectations. This helps manage expectations and ensures minimal confusion. You should all know exactly what is included in their job description and what isn’t – and respect those boundaries.

Listen – Spend some time checking in with your loved one and with the caregiver to see how things are going (but avoid micromanaging). Try to listen as much as possible and not jump to conclusions. This is a good way of getting regular updates on your loved one’s health and happiness as well as making sure that all their needs are being met. It will also indicate to you if their level of care needs to be increased. If the caregiver has any concerns, speak directly to the senior’s home care services provider.

Be Encouraging – Having a caregiver is a big adjustment, and both your loved one and the caregiver can benefit from a little praise and encouragement! If you notice your loved one enjoying the meals prepared for them, if you’re seeing an improvement in their quality of life or if they’re managing your loved one’s health condition well, be sure to mention it. Likewise, if your loved one is doing their best to adjust to their new companion, let them know how much you appreciate it.

Find the Perfect Match – Professional, Skilled, and Companionable In-Home Senior Care in NJ

At United Methodist Communities in New Jersey, we understand the challenges of providing expert medical care and companionship to seniors while encouraging a full and independent life, which is why we’ve developed HomeWorks.

Through this senior independent home care program, trained and highly experienced staff can assist seniors and their families with comprehensive home health care for the elderly. Each care plan is designed around the client’s exact needs, filling in with the necessary assistance while allowing your loved one to remain in the comfort of their home, including pastoral care.

For more information on our seniors home care services, please contact us today or visit our website at:

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